Taken together, "Flags" and "Letters" represent a genuinely imposing achievement, one that looks at war unflinchingly -- that does not deny its necessity but above all laments the human loss it entails.
Desplechin perfectly times the moment when drollery ends and anguish begins, and it’s that sense of vulnerability that lends the film an unexpected emotional force as it moves toward its return-home epilogue.
The mesmerizing performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the celebrated writer dominates every scene, while director Bennett Miller and screenwriter Dan Futterman's penetrating study enthralls in every aspect.
It stands as a unique film-within-a-film, of significance for the historical value of the raw images, the memories they spur and internal evidence of how the Nazis staged scenes long assumed to be real.
Charles Ferguson's sophomore film Inside Job is the definitive screen investigation of the global economic crisis, providing hard evidence of flagrant amorality -- and of a new nonfiction master at work.